BSN Dominican Republic Day Five: Taking on Maribal

Today, we went with Rosanna to Maribal, another small, low-income community in San Francisco. The community had a small clinic with three beds to treat a variety of complaints, and to provide vaccinations and other preventative care. It was there that we met two community leaders who were able to point us towards people who needed medical attention. Most of the patients had been seen by Emory’s PT team the week before, so most of them had musculoskeletal complaints and mobility issues.

Three of the patients were incredibly well cared for. They and their families/neighbors knew how to apply each intervention, and why the interventions were being done. They had a great working knowledge of their medication indications and usages. One nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy wasn’t as lucky. Her parents were young and unemployed. She had two younger brothers and another brother on the way. The parents were totally overwhelmed and had somewhat checked out. We found her dirty, half naked, covered with bug bites, and her limbs were bent in tight contractions.

In the afternoon, we met with healthcare providers and volunteers who were to serve as leaders of la casita de salud to find out what they identified as the most critical services needed for the clinic to provide. They indicated that they wanted to conduct surveys to identify the biggest health needs in the community. Additionally, a group of community members that serve as volunteer first responders wanted to be certified at CPR. Tomorrow, we will go to Manhattan to conduct these surveys to find out what the baseline is for disease prevalence in order to help focus their efforts and track progress.

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